LINCOLN–(KFOR Dec. 12)–Seven new fire engines for Lincoln Fire and Rescue marks the end of what’s been called a “crisis” for LFR’s fleet.
The new engines were unveiled Thursday morning at the city’s first joint Fire-Police Station at 6601 Pine Lake Road, which opened in October. The new engines replace aging vehicles that have high mileage and need frequent repair.
“Public safety is our residents’ and my administration’s top priority,” Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said. “What these shiny new fire engines represent is one important way we are acting on that priority. We have made a major investment in protecting the public. Our public safety personnel have a very difficult job. It is critically important that we provide them with the equipment they need to safely and quickly respond to emergencies. The bottom line for our families and our businesses is that these new fire engines will empower our firefighters to save lives and property.”
The new engines are not in service yet, since LFR will have to install equipment from the older rigs. Two of the engines will be in service by Dec. 25, while the rest should be active by the end of February.
Chief Despain said the vehicles being replaced are too old for resale and will be sold for scrap metal. He thanked the Mayor and current and former City Council members for supporting the $3.5 million investment.
“This investment will move our fleet from about 40 percent healthy to about 85 percent healthy,” Chief Despain said. “We believe fire apparatus repair costs and downtime will be significantly reduced. The new engines will also provide better acceleration, reliability and access for crews, all factors that impact emergency response.” Chief Despain said the health of the fleet depends not just on age, but also on factors like operating costs, downtime, repair costs and the availability of parts.
One of the new fire engines for Lincoln Fire and Rescue. (Jeff Motz/KFOR News)